Upgrading Node.js Version

I just updated the Node.js on my Ghosties VPS to version 14.16.0 and thereafter all of my sites were 503 Unavailable and were failing on ghost start.

Here is the message I received after running the ghost start command:

Once I ran the below command, everything worked.

ghost update --force


ghost update 3 --force (if the site is running Ghost v3 and I don’t want to update it to v4)

I had to run this for each individual instance of Ghost.

Just a lesson learned. Thought I’d share.


Your instructions are not quite correct. Our official docs explain how to do this safely:

@Hannah I appreciate the link to the official docs – can you please clarify… with regard to the instructions I have posted, what is unsafe and incorrect?

Your instructions will cause Ghost to also update.

As it says in the docs:

It’s not recommended to update Node and Ghost at the same time. Reinstalling the current version of Ghost ensures that Node is updated correctly first, so that you can be sure that Ghost will update smoothly.

The commands given in the documentation are:

ghost version to get the current version
ghost update [version] --force

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Perfect, @Hannah. Thank you.